Ewald Nowotny, member of the European Central Bank ’s governing council, said in an interview with German paper Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday that governments should regulate and tax bitcoin, labelling the cryptocurrency an object of speculation and a tool for money laundering.
We need a value-added tax on bitcoin, since it's not a currency. It can't be allowed that we've just decided to stop printing 500-euro notes to fight money laundering, that we've slapped strict rules on every tiny savings club, and then have to watch people blithely laundering money around the globe with bitcoin. One ought to apply what the basic rule is in any other financial transaction: everyone involved should reveal their identity.
ECB governing council member
Nowotny's comments echo those by other ECB officials, who regard the bitcoin's spectacular surge in value as a bubble, rather than a sign it could be a digital competitor to the euro single currency used by its 19 member nations.
Recently, we have reported that the Bank of Israel is considering issuing digital currency in order to create a faster payments system as well as reducing the amount of cash in the economy.